Local Heroes: Midway Fire Rescue Uses FLIR-Powered Drone to Save Kayakers

Following last month’s recognition of local law enforcement agencies nationally, FLIR is pleased to recognize Midway Fire Rescue of Pawleys Island, S.C. as our Local Hero for their outstanding display of heroism earlier this month, resulting in the rescue of two kayakers from a life-threatening situation.

On the evening of Saturday, Jan. 15 2017, the team from Midway Fire Rescue, with the support of the Department of Natural Resources, the United States Coast Guard, Georgetown County Emergency Management and Huntington Beach State Park Rangers, used a DJI drone equipped with a FLIR-powered Zenmuse XT thermal imaging camera to search, pinpoint and ultimately rescue two kayakers in distress.

Stuck in the open ocean, and unaware of their location as nighttime approached and temperatures dropped, the kayakers made an emergency call. With the advantage of a drone and FLIR thermal imaging, first responders quickly dispatched the drone with the ability to see in complete darkness and quickly located the two kayakers. After identifying their location, Huntington Beach State Park Rangers rescued the kayakers within two hours of the initial emergency call.

We continually hear more and more amazing stories from search and rescue teams around the globe involving drones equipped with our thermal imaging cameras and we are honored to see our products being used to save lives. In search and rescue situations such as this, thermal imaging technology equips responders with an invaluable advantage – a superpower – and we’re glad it played a helpful role here.

Congratulations to all involved in this successful rescue.  

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